The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has described the governors of the nine Niger Delta States as critical stakeholders and partners in the development of the Niger Delta region.
The NDDC Director, Corporate Affairs, Mr. Charles Obi Odili, who spoke in an interview at the Commission’s Headquarters in Port Harcourt, noted that the governors of the Niger Delta states were strategic stakeholders and partners in the task of developing the oil-rich region.
According to a statement by the Commission, Odili said the governors play a key role in the process of building an egalitarian and development-oriented Niger Delta, “the kind of Niger Delta that we can all be proud to call our home.”
He said: “The governors form the Advisory Committee which is supposed meet from time to time to look at areas where they can intervene and advise management and board on the way forward.
“So, they are strategic partners in the process of building an egalitarian and a development-oriented Niger Delta region. The Governors of the region are very important and worthy stakeholders in the task of building the region.”
The NDDC Director also underlined the importance of another organ, the Partners for Sustainable Development (PSD) Forum, which he said was very critical to a coordinated response to the development challenges of the Niger Delta. He said that it was an avenue for the governors or their deputies or even representatives of their governments to liaise with the Commission for proper synergy.
Reacting to insinuations that the NDDC was often over-politicized, Odili noted that the Commission was a political creation and as such could not be entirely divorced from political considerations.
On media reports which gave the impression that governors of Niger Delta states were instigating the probe of the Commission, Odili explained: “I did mention that the governors visited Mr. President and that the President as the father of the nation, reserves the right to look at the various components, because the Federal Government puts in so much money and would like to see what we are getting out of that effort. It is a welcome development that a probe is coming as a lot of things will come to the fore.”
He added: “The NDDC is over-burdened, being just an interventionist agency. Everybody feels some form of entitlement and the Commission cannot take on the entire gamut of regional expectations alone.”